Thomas More Society Takes School's First Amendment Violations to Court
DAYTON, Ohio, July 6, 2012 /Christian Newswire
/ -- Today, Thomas More Society attorneys filed a lawsuit on behalf of "Stand Up for Religious Freedom" rally participants in Dayton, Ohio, who allege their First Amendment rights were infringed upon by Sinclair Community College and the Sinclair Police Department.
The complaint alleges that Sinclair campus police violated "Stand Up for Religious Freedom" rally participants' rights when the police forced protesters to put down signage and placards at the rally. Sinclair Police and Sinclair Community College officials say their sign ban was based on school policy that bars disruptive behavior.
"Schools are meant for the free expression of ideas, but Sinclair has taken the stance that its students must check their free speech rights at the door," said Peter Breen executive director and legal counsel of the Thomas More Society. "Threatening students with arrest for holding signs at a permitted, peaceful rally is a clear, egregious violation of the First Amendment. We intend to seek full relief for our clients."
The incident occurred on June 8, 2012, at a permitted "Stand Up for Religious Freedom" rally held on the Sinclair Community College campus and sponsored by the school's Traditional Values Club. During the rally, officers of the Sinclair campus police department told attendees that they were required to put their signs promoting "Religious Freedom for All Americans" on the ground and were prohibited from holding them up at any time. Two attendees were also forced to put down a large banner carrying the name of the event.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and is being brought on behalf of two students enrolled at Sinclair as well as the Youth Outreach Coordinator for Priests for Life, who was a speaker at the rally. Please see this link
to view lawsuit.
About the Thomas More Society
Founded in 1997, the Chicago-based Thomas More Society is a national public interest law firm that seeks to restore respect in law for life, marriage, and religious liberty. The Society is a nonprofit organization wholly supported by private donations. For more information or to support the work of Thomas More Society, please visit www.thomasmoresociety.org.